Review: Cracked- book one of the souleaters by Eliza Crewe

Publisher: Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot
Publishing Date: November 2013
ISBN: 9781908844682
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Rating: 4.1 /5.0

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Publisher Description: Ever since my mom was murdered, I’ve been completely alone. I live in the shadows, because there’s no one like me. I have no choice because I have to fight the Hunger, the Hunger that drives me to hunt people and eat their souls. And I have to fight it if I want to stay out of the darkness.
Who am I?
I’m Meda Melange.
What am I?
I don’t know—but I’m not human.
And now, I finally have the chance to find out.

Review: This started off with a BANG!. Eating an evil human soul in retribution for a murdered ghost girl, ensuing battle with Demons and a rescuing Templar teen. Had me gripped….for about 5 minutes. After the action this novel devolved into a retrograde spasm of dialogue (both inner and outer). Blah blah, driving to cabin…blah blah…..I want to eat your soul……blah blah….I don’t trust her……blah blah….She’s a Beacon……blah blah……I want to eat your soul……….blah blah………. for about first 40% of the novel. When the author creates action it is really well done. But when the action is over we are assaulted with pages of drivel filler. The novel is fairly short, which sets up nicely for a series, although this would have been better served as a stand alone with some character development/expansion and a story-line that is compressed to entertain.

The cover art is really good for the first cover depicted. More accurately reflects the novel contents. Not surprising as Angry Robot usually has the best cover art in the business.

I almost gave up on this work as it was nearing my “filler” rule to receive a DNF and subsequent zero rating. Glad I hung in there as this novel quickly took off in a direction that was both compelling and riveting. I was up for a few hours trying to beat the sleep clock in order to finish. In retrospect, the author initially was trying to build the characters through verbal interactions. I think this approach fails, as you lose the reader to dialogue that is better spent with movement. Meda, Jo and Chi are great characters and divergent enough to create a fine balance. Meda has this great inner dichotomy that goes from sarcasm to sociopath in a blink. Although I consider this a novella/hook (short novels at full price that hook you into multiple series purchases), I would still purchase the next in the series, mainly to see if the author continues to season the characters and refine her sarcastic wit.

Buy this novella. It is a little treasure waiting to be expanded upon if you like sarcastic wit, Templar Knights and soul eating demons.

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